While PCB layout typically has played the leading role in high-speed printed circuit board (PCB) applications, the role of the PCB fabricator becomes more and more important as the trend to faster, higher integrated, smaller form factors, and lower power electronic circuits become more prevalent.
When talking about the world of technology, we often focus on the performance that circuitry and components provide to keep up with the fast-paced electronics we use in commercial businesses and our daily lives. We are achieving higher processor speeds and frequencies that become demanding on present printed circuit boards (PCBs). Yet, we also need to focus on the sizes of the applications that can have an impact on the PCB design.
When talking about the design and manufacturing of printed circuit boards (PCBs), customers mainly focus on the controls and signal frequencies that the PCB will perform for the specific application. Another topic to also take into consideration is the insertion loss.
The talk about creating high-speed digital circuits is happening across the world due to the development of fifth-generation (5G) cellular communication systems. As technology becomes more advanced, engineers are looking for the right ways to convey signals and frequencies through standard materials that are available today for printed circuit boards (PCBs), as these PCBs need to handle the mechanical and electrical properties required without hindering operational capabilities.
Traditionally, quick-turn printed circuit boards have been used for PCB prototyping and low-volume production in the electronics industry. Many companies have developed very low-cost, low-option Internet programs to get customers low technology printed circuit boards very inexpensively. However, in today’s evolving electronics industry, quick-turn printed circuit boards are now part of every stage of the product development lifecycle, from initial concept development to full working prototypes to getting the production product to market faster than any of their competitors.
Many applications today send signals between two devices to provide data or to perform a specific function. These signals may consist of radio frequencies (RF) or microwave frequencies. Typically found in the communication industry, RF/microwaves are common for satellites, radar, and navigational systems. Yet, they can also be found in smaller applications, such as garage door openers, security key card terminals, wireless alarm systems, and handheld warehouse inventory scanners.
Anyone who has been in the business for more than five minutes understands that the rate of change in electronics hardware development can sometimes be overwhelming. Just this year at the University of Michigan, a team has developed the world’s smallest computer, measuring just 0.3mm to a side, smaller than a grain of rice.
The growing need for advanced IT infrastructures has impacted industries in all market sectors. Businesses are relying on the scalability and versatility of cloud storage products as they are moving from onsite data centers to using server farms. Companies that rent server farms are experiencing exponential growth as they try to provide the right equipment that can handle the high demand for storage capabilities while ensuring optimal performance.
It's never a great sign of the times when you wake up every day and know you need to check the news before starting work to see what the newest challenges are you're going to have to deal with. Unfortunately, this trend became standard practice within our industry in 2018. Typically, most companies spend their time and money trying to find new ways to speed up service or new products to help their customers. But for most of this past year, it was about working closely with your customers on their existing business to minimize damage from all the new costs that were quickly being added to our industry.
As a designer and manufacturer of custom battery packs for high reliability applications, our customers are continually demanding that we make packs that are smaller, have more power, run longer, and all at a competitive cost as they try to make their devices more portable.